When law enforcement interview witnesses and write their statements

Walsh, Dave, Areh, Igor, Minhas, Rashid ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1479-0985 and Menzies, Simon-Lewis (2022) When law enforcement interview witnesses and write their statements. Police Practice and Research. ISSN 1561-4263

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Eyewitness testimony is important to criminal investigations. Research has found that remembering is a process that can be distorted by various factors, such as how witnesses are interviewed. Further, prior research has also found that written statements taken by the investigator are not always accurate. The present study explored for what is believed the first time whether interviewing skills are associated with both how much correct verbal information is provided by witnesses and also the accuracy of written statements, using a sample of 30 interviews conducted by serving professional investigators. We found greater inaccuracies at each of these two phases when interviewers were assessed as being less skilled, when compared to interviews conducted by their more highly rated counterparts. Interviewing skills thus appear important when interviewers attempt to gain accurate information from witnesses, and when they generate accurate written statements. Implications for policies, practice, and for future research, are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Identifier: 10.1080/15614263.2022.2116436
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Police Practice and Research on 29 August 2022, available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/15614263.2022.2116436
Keywords: Investigative interviews, Eyewitness testimony, Written witness statements, Information/evidence distortions
Subjects: Law and criminal justice > Criminal justice > Policing and criminal investigations
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Depositing User: Rashid Minhas
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2022 15:15
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2022 10:52
URI: https://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/9353

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